Chief Justice Sir Albert Palmer is calling on the Provincial Government and Commissioner of Lands to reserve and preserve a land for Government institutions and other national interest and not given away.
He made this call during the opening of the 2015 Legal Year yesterday at the High Court in relation to land space at Gizo.
“The Commissioner of Land’s Office must have a national and provincial plan to cater for such development needs.
“It is frustrating having to find suitable land and to have to go out into the open market to find land for our courthouses,” Sir Albert said.
He said adequate land space continues to be an issue at Gizo.
He said the current land where the court house is located is now hemmed in by the Gizo Hospital and other provincial Government offices at the front and repair and refurbishment will only be up to a certain size and scale but will not be able to cope with the increasing number of cases that come through the courts in the Western District, now the second busiest court in the country from Honiara.
Further to that, he added that court houses need to be constructed with safety and security in mind for the public.
“All court hearings are open to the public save on certain grounds when they may need to be closed to the public.
“We would need to bear in mind too that we do have people with special needs, including the young and vulnerable members in our community and disabled persons.”
The chief justice said the designed our court houses should include access and facilities for such persons.
“It is important that those who come into the court premises should be able to feel safe and not intimidated.”
By ASSUMPTA BUCHANAN